Musings From Our Downtime In Toronto

Trip Start Oct 07, 2013
Trip End Jul 01, 2015

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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Monday, October 7, 2013

Who knew that our short stay in Toronto taking care of a few loose ends would have us empathizing with the squeezed Gobi Desert nomads we stayed with some months ago. The bureaucratic monoliths of modern society do not like nomads without a fixed address. A certified copy of our rental lease was required for a library card (??) and the pup tent in the backyard of Deb & Dave B where we stay as virtual guests has served as our 'primary' address (the lack of a credit history at our tent location causes the financial folks to twist themselves into knots). We tried using "The World" and "internet" as our home address when filling out forms but Revenue Canada has a limited sense of adventure when it comes to collecting their pound of flesh. The OHIP (provincial health care) folks missed us so much they persuaded us to stay in province longer than we had anticipated in order to maintain extended benefits. That said, we managed to catch up on most of our outstanding issues, placate the various bureaucracies, and are back on Stephen Harper's Xmas card list (for our American readers... and Deb P., Harper is the Canadian Prime Minister- a lite version of Mr Obama without the sainthood).

Although Toronto offered up a much slower pace than the one we had been getting used to (thankfully), we did manage to keep the travel bug alive with a number of visits to the Waterfront, Greektown, city parks, and we even had a very personal bilingual, Herve V, guided tour of downtown Oakville. We took in Busker Fest, numerous summer festivals at Mel Lastman Square, along with the must-do Bluegrass Festival and the somewhat odd Train To Nowhere & Field of Flavours up in Tottenham. And given her imaginary royal blood, DH felt it was important to spend a couple of days in Stratford, Ontario taking in a couple of Shakespearean plays (except for an underhanded parking enforcement sweep- who knew Romeo and Juliet would take longer to expire than our three hour meter- I would highly recommend a Stratford visit).
A few days in cottage country in the summer is mandatory for all harried Torontonians so we also spent time watching for loons and racoons in both the Muskoka and Kawartha Lakes area. And since watching me struggle with our overdue tax returns, set up new banking arrangements, complete the journal from Part I, organize photos, and plan for upcoming adventures proved to be somewhat tiresome for DH, she had me organize a girls-only trip to Vegas (which, for those looking for a little balance, is apparently never to be followed by a boys-only trip to Vegas), did a number of BFF bonding jaunts (and, for those looking for balance, I don't think guys are ever allowed to refer to anyone as a BFF), and filled in the gap areas with spa visits, mani's, pedi's, and something called a micro dermabrasion (which I think is akin to a facial sandblasting, and, for those looking for balance, apparently massages by Bambi and Trixie are not a valid spa treatment). Since I had to book the Vegas trip, I took the opportunity to arrange "stripper lessons"for both DH and Christine L. while they were there. Lest you see this as a very self-serving act you need to see the pragmatism in it- if we're ever in desperate need of few emergency dollars while traveling, this would seem to be a universally in-demand skill set (although given the pole pictures 'Quiver' and 'Tremor' took during their lessons, we probably won't be funding much more than get-out-of-town bus tickets). 

While back in Toronto, our Tim Horton's morning coffee moved from 'nice-to-have' directly to addiction status for DH (I'm hoping her pending withdrawal process doesn't involve any spinning heads and bleeding eye sockets but it could get ugly). Our long awaited TV fix proved disappointing as the airways now seem to be dominated by duck, snake, and hog hunters, storage locker dudes, ex-wives of rock stars, and numerous other stories of people of the missing teeth variety?? And given that the poor TV selection drove us quickly outdoors, we took up a couple sports that all retirees are supposed to do- tennis and golf. Many thanks to Anne & Sandy K who gainfully tried teaching us the game of golf (perhaps they should also be held accountable given that we seemed to get worse as the summer went on). 

If and when we settle down, I'm not sure Toronto makes the short list (although the airport and DH's history here are significant advantages) but we enjoyed our pit stop here. It's now time to get started on our Central American adventure and our first stop, naturally, will have us looking for polar bears.
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Carol C on

Well it's nice to see you back in the blog sphere! Although I am a bit disappointed that my epic visit to see you both didn't get a mention!!! I know, I know it's not always about me! Haha, glad to see you back on the road so that I can live my life vicariously through your postings! And I understand your new name is Bic! Love it.

Jim Mackrell on

When you mentioned Christine, I pictured Christine Long... and there she was / is in your photos. Happy adventuring you two...

Larry Dow on

Toronto sounds interesting, happy to see that partying with the mayor wasn't one of your adventures,
I'm glad to see you're back on the road, I missed the blog posts!! Enjoy the next phase of your adventure.

John Snider on

It was great to practically run into you guys on Yonge Street! I was just wondering again the other day what your were up to /where you were now! Bon Voyage! I love living vicariously though your travels!

lorena on

Hi, hi, love the post .. really enjoyed seeing you and look forward to updates. LO:)

Ginetta on

Thanks for the photos and the chuckles. Keep the entries coming and take care.

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